Often categorized as Belgian shepherd dogs and nicknamed Mals, Belgian malinois are versatile canines employed today as personal protection dogs, police dogs and loyal canine companions. This is a breed that thrives in the hands of an experienced owner capable of training, exercising and socializing this breed as needed. There are four varieties of Belgian shepherds, and the American Kennel Club considers them 4 different breeds, while in Belgium they’re considered the same breed.
the Belgian Groenendael
the Belgian Tervuren
the Belgian Malinois
the Belgian Laekenois
This light-footed breed was selectively bred as a herding dog. Developed in the late 1800s in the city of Malines, Belgium, this breed was later also used as draught dogs, messenger dogs during World War I, police dogs for the Belgian police and loyal guardians. This dog is part of the sheepdog family.
When World War I ended, many servicemen brought along with them abroad a few malinois and Belgian shepherds. During the Great Depression, breeding dogs was a hobby left to the wealthy, and the breed became quite rare. But luckily, in the 1960s, breeding resumed and more Malinois were being showed. Nowadays, the US Secret Service uses Malinois to guard the White House. The American Kennel Club registered this breed in 1959 and they are now categorized under the herding group.
This is a medium-sized dog with a double coat that looks similar to the German shepherd but is different in many ways. They are smaller and have lighter bones and they lack that sloping back. The coat color is typically fawn or mahogany with a black facial mask, black ears and muzzle and unlike the German shepherd they lack the saddle. The black tipping on the hairs, gives this breed a slight overlay appearance. Their head is also more refined and chiseled. These dogs measure 22 to 26 inches at the and weigh between 40 and 80 pounds. Their straight top coat is harsh to the touch. The hairs along the neck are slightly longer giving them a mane-like appearance. This dog has a distinctive proud carriage of the head and neck. Females have a more feminine look. White markings are allowed on the tips of the toes and a small white spot is allowed on the breastbone but should not extend to the neck.
This dog is as versatile as can be, just like the German shepherd he can be used for a variety of tasks. All he needs to be happy is a job that will keep him exercised and mentally stimulated. These dogs have a great amount of stamina that keeps them going and going and going. They need room to romp around and outlets for their energy. Lack of exercise and mental stimulation can predispose them to obsessive behaviors. This dog should not be fearful or aggressive. We are talking about a confident dog that has protective instincts. With strangers, this dog can be reserved and aloof.
These dogs are highly intelligent and eager to learn. Enroll these dogs in herding, search and rescue,agility, schutzhund and obedience trials. Despite their tough look, these dogs are sensitive and don’t do well with harsh training methods. Obedience training is a must not an option. Teach them manners by making it a fun game. Consider that this breed has lightning-fast reactions, so you must have good timing. These dogs are masters in reading your body language and are often on edge and ready to anticipate your moves. Given the opportunity, malinois may be attracted to chasing running children, joggers, animals, bikes and cars. Many trainers report this dog having a great sense of play drive. Make sure to have ample of time to socialize this dog exposing him to as many people, animals and different environments as possible. Malinois that are poorly socialized are a recipe for disaster as they can become fearful and aggressive.
The Best household
This breed thrives when involved in family activities so does best with an owner who has time to commit to this breed. Left alone for long hours each day, this dog will suffer and engage in undesirable behaviors to vent off his anxiety, boredom and frustration. Some may even develop neurotic behaviors. Circling in the yard, is not an unusual sight with this breed and is a remnant of his herding ancestry.These dogs will need daily walks and romps in fenced areas, but they can live in small homes as long as they are exercised enough. A walk around the block won’t cut it with this breed, they need vigorous exercise and structured training. In the yard, they may become protective of their territory and make excellent watch dogs, but they prefer to stay inside with their owners. These dogs need an experienced dog owner. One must remember that they were mostly bred for work than companionship.
This breed may get along with children, especially when raised with them from an early age, but it’s important to keep in mind his past as a herder which may trigger chasing, poking and nipping at their heels. Puppies may be excessively exuberant even up to age of 3 which makes them unsuitable for families with small children. Your malinois must learn not to engage in these behaviors when around children. Provide alternate outlets for pent-up energy. Never leave a child with a dog unsupervised regardless of breed. With other animals, early socialization is key in getting him to accept them. While he may accept your cat as a member of the family consider that he may chase your neighbors cats. This is a dog with high prey drive that will chase fast moving animals. Some malinois may not get along well with other dogs, especially those of the same sex.
These dogs will shed year round, so be prepared to brush their coats often to keep those stray hairs at bay.
This breed is predisposed to the following health conditions: Hip Dysplasia Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Elbow Dysplasia, cataracts, epilepsy, thyroid disease, Anesthesia Sensitivity. These dogs prefer cooler climates, but eventually adapt to warm ones if need be.The average lifespan in this breed is 12–14 years
Where to find one:
ABMC Belgian Malinois Rescue
Belgian Shepherd Rescue
Camden,beljian mlinois mix? light footed